VizziCal, a Princeton Junction-based startup, has launched a cloud-based phone system for businesses that promises to fulfill callers’ needs with more speed and ease than systems dependent on landlines and automated replies.
VizziCal’s system is designed for anytime/anywhere communications and lets mobile users express their needs by using text messages, hashtags, or intent icons. Each icon represents a specific need or intent, such as requesting an appointment or reservation, getting directions or asking for a call back. When the caller’s intent is sent to the company, it is routed to the person or people who can best respond to the request. Before answering the phone, the company representative knows why the consumer is calling.
Co-founder and CEO Deepti Deepak will demonstrate how VizziCal works and will share the benefits the system offers to companies and their customers at an upcoming Coffee Talk B2B Roundtable meeting, Friday, December 4, at 9:30 a.m. at Collaboration Core, 3150 Brunswick Pike, Lawrence–ville. This meeting is free and open to the public. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsored by Hilary Morris Communications, roundtables provide resources and inspiration for professionals. “Many of us are solopreneurs or business owners who handle the marketing and PR ourselves, so we are all multi-tasking to be successful,” Morris says.
In addition to Deepak’s talk, the December roundtable includes three other entrepreneur presenters.
Reesa Lewandowski, founder of New Jersey Blogger Network and owner of mommalew.com, will talk about the reasons businesses need a blog on their website. Momma Lew was founded in 2010 — in her words — after she “fumbled through the first few years of motherhood.” Her website and blog focus on taking the stress out of parenthood.
Jason Meyer, from the Law Office of Jason B Meyer and LeadGood will talk about the ways small businesses can use lawyers to help grow their companies. His law firm focuses on transactional matters for entrepreneurial businesses. In addition to being an attorney, Meyer is a certified ethics and compliance professional.
Jeanette Iglesias of JI Coaching will present “Don’t Just Network … Build Connections.” Prior to founding her company she worked for Victoria’s Secret Direct and Saks Fifth Avenue, holding several leadership positions over 20 years. Today her coaching services focus on social and emotional intelligence, balanced leadership, and total life leadership.
The goal of every roundtable is to give attendees at least one thing they can act on immediately in their business, says Morris. One thing attendees or visitors to VizziCal’s website will be able to act on is an opportunity to try the phone system for free for one month.
Once a company signs up, it gets a virtual phone number from VizziCal. Next, the company sets up its group of customer service agents, installs the VizziCal app on the agents’ cell phones or laptops, and uploads various intent icons or SMS (short message service) hashtags. When a customer call or text message comes in, it is routed to all company phones registered in the customer service group.
In addition to the icons available from VizziCal, companies can create their own. The VizziCal system is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Google Calendar, Whatsapp, and other customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
One of VizziCal’s early adopters is JerzJump, a family entertainment center in Monmouth Junction. Co-owner Neerha Kotiyal says the center has been using the system for three months and finds that customers like being able to text questions and get immediate answers whether the center is open or not. They ask about pricing, directions, hosting parties, or other general topics. Most businesses’ main phone systems are land-line operations, he says. Without the kind of service VizziCal offers, these companies can’t receive and send text messages.
VizziCal was launched in November, 2014, by Deepak and her husband, Deepak Vittal, who is the company’s chief technology officer. The first version of the product was an app, a limited version of the current system. After making the product available on their website, they received 2,000 downloads, Deepak says. They received good feedback from users who said they were most interested in texting and using the product for business purposes.
Based on customer responses, Deepak’s company began building the platform for the current version of the product focusing on the business to consumer/consumer to business market in March, enhancing the product’s capabilities through June. Added benefits, says Deepak are the company’s cloud call analytics platform, which allows companies to track incoming and outgoing calls, and the campaign feature that allows companies to run promotional campaigns using multiple icons and hashtags with just one phone number.
Deepak says that a big reason people prefer using her company’s service is that they are frustrated with conventional interactive voice response systems (IVR) because the prerecorded choices are limited, and often customers cannot fully express the reason for their call. In addition, they often have to repeat their information and are put on hold for a long time.
Deepak grew up in Bangalore, India, where her father worked as a doctor and her mother was a school teacher. She became interested in telephony while earning her master’s degree in computer science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
After moving to the U.S. and graduating from NJIT, she worked in the field of technology for more than 17 years, focusing on the development and management of products for mobile, telecommunications, audio, and medical industries. She has worked for startups, private and public companies, and large telecom companies, including Motorola.
Vittal has more than 19 years of software development and analytics experience and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, retail, and banking.
In addition to the Princeton Junction location, the company has an operation in India, working from the Deshpande Foundation, a co-working space similar to TigerLabs in Princeton, Deepak says.
Deepak expects the popularity of VizziCal to grow. Consumers, especially millennials, she says, love messaging from mobile devices regardless of their location and time of day.